Week 12 D/ST Streamers for Fantasy Football
Looking for Week 12 D/ST streamers is a bit like trying to figure out which foods to put on your Thanksgiving dinner plate when you go up for thirds. Yes, thirds. Don’t judge. The pickings are a bit slim, and the available choices do not look particularly inviting. By that point in the festivities, you probably have to gnaw through the turkey gristle, scrape the bottom of that casserole dish, and eat the mushy parts of the mashed potatoes to make do. When you remove the four defenses involved in the two Thanksgiving Day games, there are only nine defenses left that are available in a majority of leagues. And most of them are available for a reason.
I mentioned in last week’s piece that the New York Giants were a defense to target this week. And target them, fantasy managers did. Their rostership has tripled since Tuesday due mainly to the season-ending injury suffered by Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. Seattle was another option I was high on when I was doing my research earlier this week, but they too have now surpassed the 50 percent threshold. Hopefully, most of you were able to secure one of those defenses or a similarly favorable option. For the rest of you, I hope you like leftovers!
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Week 12 D/ST Streamers
Arizona Cardinals (at New England Patriots, 31 percent rostered in Fantrax leagues)
The Arizona Cardinals rank 15th in fantasy points through 11 weeks. Sadly, they are the highest-scoring option among all available streamers. Their upcoming matchup with New England is much more favorable than it would have been in years past. The Patriots just do not have a ton of offensive firepower in 2020. They have averaged just 17.6 points per game over their last seven contests. New England has also turned the ball over 15 times this year, which is fewer than only seven other teams. The Patriots run 50.7 percent of the time, which is the third-highest rate in the NFL. Because of this, Arizona’s ceiling may not be incredibly high this week. However, their floor is higher than most available options this week. They are a relatively safe choice given the matchup.
Cincinnati Bengals (vs. New York Giants, 21 percent rostered)
While the Giants are my preferred choice in this Week 12 battle of seven-loss teams, the Cincinnati Bengals make for a solid streamer in their own right. I have often preached that streaming defenses facing NFC East is a winning formula, and that strategy has paid off throughout the season. All members of the NFC East rank in the top eight in terms of fantasy points allowed to enemy defenses. Cincinnati’s current place as the 27th ranked fantasy scoring defenses may not exactly inspire confidence, but the matchup is right. Daniel Jones has already turned the ball over 13 times this year. If the Bengals can put points on the board (admittedly a big “if” with Brandon Allen at the helm), then their defense could put up some decent fantasy numbers in this game.
Denver Broncos (vs. New Orleans Saints, 35 percent rostered)
Last Sunday, Taysom Hill revolutionized the quarterback position and single-handedly proved that Drew Brees is an overrated system quarterback whose career is a sham and that he should never go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Or… maybe he just had a good game in a dome against a terrible Atlanta Falcons defense? The Denver Broncos may not be world-beaters, but they are certainly better than Atlanta from a defensive standpoint. That is faint praise, but at least they have a fighting chance against the Saints on their home field. Denver did put up 13 fantasy points in an upset victory against the Dolphins last week. More fantasy managers have dropped the Broncos this week than have picked them up. I find that a bit curious considering the circumstances. Denver is one of my favorite Week 12 D/ST streamers, albeit with a high level of variance.
New York Jets (vs. Miami Dolphins, 11 percent rostered)
My logic for including the New York Jets here is akin to my rationale for liking Denver. New York will be taking on an inexperienced quarterback who has not exactly set the world on fire thus far. Tua Tagovailoa has thrown for just 593 yards in four starts and was benched last week for Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, I have much less faith in the Jets defense being able to execute their game plan than I do in the Broncos. The Jets allow over eight yards per pass attempt, and that number has trended in the wrong direction in recent weeks due to injuries, ineptitude, and poor discipline. I do not think Chan Gailey will need to reinvent the wheel this week for Miami to be successful. But if Tua does make a poor decision or two, it could lead to some fantasy points for the Jets’ D/ST.
Las Vegas Raiders (at New York Jets, 15 percent rostered)
The New York Jets have begun to resemble a 21st century NFL offense in their last two games, but they are still well behind the curve in terms of offensive efficiency. Believe it or not, the Raiders D/ST has scored at least 12 fantasy points in two of their last four games. They have done so by taking advantage of favorable matchups against the Browns and Broncos. The Jets would certainly qualify as a favorable one as well.
Detroit Lions (at Chicago Bears, 20 percent rostered)
This recommendation is yet another example of considering a poor defense that has a matchup that is attractive enough to warrant streaming. The Bears have not scored 24 points in a game since September. They also have the fewest rushing yards in the NFL.
Cincinnati Bengals (at Miami Dolphins, 21 percent rostered)
As mentioned in the Jets-Dolphins paragraph, there could be a path to success defensively against the Miami Dolphins if teams force Tua Tagovailoa to beat them through the air. Cincinnati could also enter this game with a bit of momentum if they can put up a solid defensive effort against the Giants on Sunday.
If you found Mick’s Week 12 D/ST Streamers helpful, you’ll definitely want to check out the rest of our Week 12 Fantasy Football analysis.
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